To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Apple TV (4th generation) review: This streamer gets better and better, especially with Amazon Video

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £129

Slick, powerful and with a brilliant voice-activated remote, the new Apple TV is a top media streamer that's improving all the time


Video outputs: HDMI 1.4, Networking: Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet, Dimensions: 98x98x35mm, Streaming formats: AirPlay, others via apps, Internet streaming services: iTunes, Apple Music, Netflix, Now TV. Via AirPlay: BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4 and BT Sport

Buy the Apple TV now from John Lewis



Netflix is one of the big names, available from day one in the app store. As I mentioned before, it’s fully integrated into the universal search and recognises Siri commands. This app is significantly different to the one that shipped with the old Apple TV, and the new one follows the Netflix design as used on Smart TVs, games consoles and the like.

It’s certainly more modern looking, but the I like the way that the old app let you browse for content via genre; the new one only occasionally suggest genres, based on Netflix recommendations. For everything else, you need to use the search facility. Now, the Netflix search is a bit of a pain to use, given that you have to use the on-screen keyboard, but that’s where the beauty of the Siri search steps in.

Buy the Apple TV now from John Lewis

Netflix works with the remote’s new buttons, too: tap the menu button to go back or, if you’re in the middle of a list, to jump back to the top of the interface to use the Search feature and to change profiles.

US Netflix

Switching to US Netflix gives you lots of extra content to watch, and the good news is that you can quickly and easily do so using the Smart DNS systems – see the best way to watch American Netflix for more information.

It’s important to point out two issues though. First, if you change regions you have to log out of your Netflix account and then log back in again (using the on-screen keyboard, I’m afraid). Secondly, putting your Netflix account into US mode, doesn’t do the same thing with Siri search, so it may return titles that you can’t currently watch. Obviously, using American Netflix isn’t something supported by Apple or Netflix, so I’m not blaming the Apple TV for working in this way: it’s been designed to operate properly in one country and hacking it do something else can change or break key features.

Plex and DLNA media streaming

Plex is one of the first developers out of the door with its local media streaming app. You need to have a Plex server on your network (see, how to use Plex), but one’s easy to set up and you can even use some models of NAS device. One of the big benefits of Plex is that the server can transcode video on the fly to play on the Apple TV, which has limited format support for videos, with h.264 videos the main format.

If you don’t want to use Plex, then you’ll need a separate DLNA server on your network and you’ll have to have all of your content in a format that the Apple TV supports. Then, you can use AirPlay to stream from a DLNA server. I don’t think it will be long before the App Store has a DLNA media player app.

Catch-up TV

Catch-up TV is looking a bit bare at the moment, with none of the terrestrial services supported via dedicated apps. However, iPlayer and All 4 support AirPlay natively through an app; ITV Player supports AirPlay mirroring (unlike with the other players, this means you have to leave your phone or tablet’s screen turned on). There’s no support from Demand Five at all. The BBC is developing its own Apple TV app and we hope that the other services will do the same thing, too. BT Sport also supports AirPlay, so you can beam games to your TV easily.

Apple AirPlay Step 3

Now TV

Built into the previous Apple TV, the Sky Now TV app has just been released into the app store. If you don’t want a Sky subscription, this is the best way to get some of the UK’s best content, from the latest movies to brand-new TV shows (Game of Thrones launches exclusively on Sky Atlantic, and Now TV is the cheapest way to get it).

Buy the Apple TV now from John Lewis

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Audio inputsNone
Audio outputsNone
Video outputsHDMI 1.4
Dock connectorNone
USB portUSB-C (for service)
NetworkingBluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet
App supportNone
Streaming formatsAirPlay, others via apps
Supported serversPlex, DLNA via apps/AirPlay
Audio formatsAAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV
Video formatsH.264
Video file extensionsM4V, MP4, MOV
Image formatsJPEG, GIF, TIFF
Internet streaming servicesiTunes, Apple Music, Netflix, Now TV. Via AirPlay: BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4 and BT Sport

Read more